Yesterday, in the lobby of our hotel, I felt as though everyone was looking at me as I struggled with my unruly, overtired child.
I felt exposed, raw, embarrassed, out of control.
How do you calm down your child in a strange environment? When you can’t walk away?
You can’t ignore.
You have to deal with it.
How do you stay calm and collected?
When your insides are twisting into pretzels as you watch the scene unfold.
We made it to the room -finally- I whispered to my daughter as we talked to keep my voice from getting shrill or too emotional.
I knew I needed more time to pull myself together, but sometimes we don’t have it.
Sometimes we can’t take a time-out, or walk away. And the reality that hit me between the eyes yesterday is that all of these techniques are ways that I handle the situation.
I am not surrendering all to God. In those moments when my children are out of control- I need to cry out to God. To seek His calming influence.
It was humbling to recognize in that moment I was only thinking about myself- how the scene was affecting me.
Instead of seeking to teach and to love my children, even in those hard moments, I was thinking instead:
- how can you embarrass me like this?
- why is this happening to me?
Instead I need to seek God and pray- even if it is just a breath prayer- “God help me.”
God help me to use this- and all things- to draw my child closer to you and in the process, Lord, mold me in your image. Make me more like you.
Parenting can place us in the Potter’s hands if we willingly submit ourselves to be shaped.
But it will be painful.
And God will place us in situations where we reach the end of ourselves. Where we are reminded of our need. We are not meant to do any part of this life without Him.
A very humbling reminder for me this week.
I pray that this will encourage you.
We all fall.
In our falling, though, we are called to pick ourselves up (fully cooperate with God as He works in us) and continue to persevere, trusting that God is building character in us as we continually seek Him.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Lord, sometimes it hurts to be molded and shaped. To see the looks of judgment or rebuke, and to feel how far from the mark we are. Remind us Lord that you love us, even in our most trying moments- and that you long for us to live in continual peace and joy that can only be found in your presence. We must choose to submit to you, to stop trying to live on our own strength. As you keep reminding us, may we continue to respond with obedience to your call. God of all of me, shape me into who you want me to be. I willingly place myself in your hands. Use me today. All honor and glory is yours, our Rock and our Redeemer. In Jesus Name, Amen.